Like many four-year-olds, Ella has a rather elaborate bed-time routine. It begins shortly after dinner with a bath and pajamas. It involves, snacks, puzzles, coloring, singing, teeth-brushing, and a game called daddy is a mountain, where she climbs up Tim onto his shoulders. All of this is followed by books, shadow puppets, and tucking in. After tucking, green blanket first, then pink, then red, either Tim or I have to scratch her back until she falls asleep. She is perhaps the most high-maintenance sleeper of all time. If any part of this routine is skipped, Ella turns into a hurricane and tears the house apart. (OK, that is an exaggeration, but she does talk a lot about her feelings being hurt and nobody caring whether she is happy. She is Scarlet O’Hara in pink footsie jammies)
Last night, I was trying to hurry the bath process along because I still needed to finish laundry and make school lunches. Sensing my urgency, Ella said, “Taking care of three kids and Chaucer (our dog) is a lot of work.”
“Yes it is,” I replied and then joking, said, “Maybe we should get rid of Chaucer.”
“NO!” Ella shrieked, wide-eyed with outrage. And then with a sweet smile on her face and a head full of shampoo bubbles, she calmly suggested we get rid of her brother.